Best Porsche 911 RSR starts from second grid row at Long Beach

The best Porsche 911 RSR tackles the Grand Prix of Long Beach in California from the second grid row on Saturday. At his first qualifying as a Porsche works driver, Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) posted the fourth quickest time in the GTLM class on the 3.167-kilometre city course. For this prestigious race, which is regarded as America’s equivalent to the Monaco Grand Prix due to the sun, sea and palms, he shares the cockpit of the 510 hp 911 RSR with the starting number 912 with Kévin Estre (France).

Patrick Pilet (France) was not able to take part in the qualifying: After clocking the fastest lap time during the morning session, the 2015 IMSA GT champion crashed into the wall in the second 911 RSR (#911) fielded by the Porsche GT Team shortly before the end of the second practice. The vehicle was so badly damaged that it couldn’t be repaired in time for the qualifying, which took place soon after. For this reason, Pilet and his teammate Dirk Werner (Germany) have to take up the race from the back of the field.

Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Porsche Motorsport:The qualifying actually ran as expected. The field was extremely close. In fourth, we’re just one-and-a-half tenths of a second off the pole-setting time. It’ll certainly be a gripping race. The fact that Patrick hit the wall and couldn’t qualify our second 911 RSR was, of course, a setback. The repairs will take quite some time, but we’re feeling optimistic and we expect the car to be ready to race tomorrow.”

Laurens Vanthoor (911 RSR #912):This was my first ever qualifying session with the 911 RSR, and so I’m feeling pretty happy. On such a difficult track, and one which is new for me, there are always places where you lose some time. In light of this, it went very well. I hope that we can improve even more in the race.”

Patrick Pilet (911 RSR #911):I can’t pinpoint why I hit the wall. Unfortunately this meant we couldn’t take part in the qualifying and have to start from the back. But anything’s possible in Long Beach. We have to put it behind us now and look ahead.”

Porsche Press Release